A Big One-Minute Club Update Including Two Free Downloads!

Are you looking for a way to help your students learn their notes on the staff in a fun way? Consider implementing the One-Minute Club in your studio!

This program focuses on the skill of naming and playing the notes on the music staff in one minute or less. 

Four years ago, I first shared all the nitty-gritty details on how I run this program in my studio. If you haven’t read that post, you might consider reading it first before reading this post!

Even if you have already read the original post, I would strongly suggest you check it out again as I just did a HUGE OVERHAUL of the original post and packed it full of even more great information!


Read the original post: One-Minute Club Note-Naming Challenge


Over the past couple of years, I’ve been playing around with some changes to the leveling I use for this challenge.

In this post, I’ll share details on the new levels, why I made the switch, and tell you a little more about my new display board you see above.

Plus, I have two free downloads for you! One is a beautiful landmark note visual aid and the other a downloadable resource for running your own challenge.


Do you teach online? You might check out The One-Minute Club Goes Virtual!


 

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Friday Finds #210

Spring Fever

Spring is only a week away – can you smell it in the air? It was only a few weeks ago I was confessing to you that I was enjoying Winter, but now that Spring is peeking through, it’s feeling really good, don’t you think?

 

1

Snowflakes in Spring by Naoka Ikeda is one of my favorite Intermediate Sheet Music solos

I love its various textures and beautiful melody. Like many of the pieces by Naoko, I would counter that this piece is slightly more challenging than early intermediate.

 

2

A few favorite spring recipes using things like asparagus, peas, and radishes.  I’m a pretty lucky girl in that I have a neighbor only a mile and a half away that sells fresh asparagus!


:: Asparagus, Ham, and Goat Cheese Quiche
(Wives with Knives)
:: Chicken & Sugar Snap Pea Stirfry (Williams Sonoma)
:: New Potatoes and Ham in Browned Butter (Farmer Owned)
:: Peas with Pancetta and Lemon (What’s Gabby Cooking) – except I skip the lemon…
:: Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan and Soft-Boiled Eggs
(Damn Delicious)
:: Shaved Asparagus Pizza
(Smitten Kichen)
:: Snow Pea-Radish Slaw (Food Network)
:: Spring Asparagus Pancetta Hash (Smitten Kitchen)
:: Wagon Wheel Pasta with Pancetta and Peas (Giadzy)
– a great tone for kids!

 

3

If you know me at all, you’re not going to be surprised to see this one! 🙂

Last week I started building a “Spring” playlist on Spotify. My husband gets a complete kick out of the fact that I build playlists like this – he’s more of a random Spotify Radio listener.

 

4

Although custom playlists are not my husband’s thing, I’m certainly not the only person who loves creating playlists. Phew!

Recently I was listening to the 10 Things To Tell  You podcast with Laura Tremaine. It was a BONUS episode called “How to decorate for the seasons without buying more stuff with Myquillen Smith (The Nester)”.

Yes, creating seasonal playlists was one of her pieces of advice, but I have to say I couldn’t believe how many points she made that was exactly what I was talking about in the recent post: Experiencing the Seasons in our Studios and Life. (I promise I did not listen to that podcast before I wrote the post –  Ha!)

P.S. Last weekend I finally took down my Christmas tree in my studio! Anyone else? LOL

 

5

Rev yourself up…spring cleaning is just around the corner! The Hidden Benefits of Spring Cleaning [Video] (Laura Calder | The Inviting Life)

 

6

How to Spring Clean Your Kitchen (Williams Sonoma)

 

7

I’m quite a fan of Leila Viss’s sheet music arrangements.

When I think of Spring, I think of her arrangement of Amazing Grace and the new one I just purchased for Easter – Risen Today.

There’s one other piece my students and I absolutely love in particular from Leila. Find out which one!

 

8

A Trader Joe’s Shopping List to Liven Up Your Spring Eating

 

 


P.S.

Don’t forget! In celebration of Piano Pantry’s 5-year birthday, you can get 15% off your entire order in the Piano Pantry shop which includes the entire Music Lab series and the new Happy Birthday-By Ear resource through March 31, 2021.

Use the code BIRTHDAY15 at checkout.

 

P.S.S.

Keep an eye out for next’s week’s Friday Finds!

I’ll be giving away a copy of Kevin Olson’s book Impressions on Color.

Stay tuned!

 

 


Did you enjoy this post?

Consider subscribing to the Piano Pantry email list. You’ll get my once-a-month “Secret Letter” which includes what’s been going on in my studio that month, new posts on the blog, books I’m reading, favorite Instagram posts, and other fun things like that. 

Sound good?! Subscribe here.

 

It’s Piano Pantry’s Birthday!

Celebrating 5 years with a discount

This month marks a big milestone here at Piano Pantry as I’m celebrating 5 years of blogging!

This platform has been such a wonderful creative outlet and way to “dump” my brain of all the ideas that swirl around. Thanks for being here and for sticking with me!

Today I thought I would share a little about how I got started and highlight some of the milestones along the way (including the release of a new Happy Birthday by-ear teaching resource!).

We’ll also be celebrating with a discount in the Piano Pantry Shop and a giveaway later in the month in Friday Finds #211.

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Friday Finds #209

Virtual Events (and discounts)

With several online events happening over the course of the next month, I thought this might be a good time to highlight those along with a few useful resources on participating in professional development.

 

1

Conference Management 101: Tips for using Evernote plus a free resource (Piano Pantry)

 

2

A week from today is the start of the virtual MTNA National Conference (Saturday, March 13-17). It’s not too late to register!

 

3

New effort vs. Old effort (Seth Godin)

On old conferencing vs. new conferencing.

 

4

8 Tips for Making the Most of a Virtual Conference (Natalie Weber | Music Matters Blog)

My favorite post on virtual conferencing to date!

 

5

Tonara’s INSPIRED Summit 2021 will be on Saturday, March 13 from
10-2 EST.

The ticket list price is $10-$15 but if you use this link you can get 20% off ($8-$12).

 

6

What We Can Learn from Considering One’s Ideal Piano Teacher Life (Joy Morin | Color in My Piano)

 

7

Getting Value from Professional Development with Amy Comparetto, episode 172 (Tim Topham |The Top Cast podcast)

 

8

Load yourself up for these virtual events with some healthy snacks: Here are some all-around favorites as well a few favorites from Trader Joe’s.

 

9

Nicola’s Turboboost event will be from March 29th – April 2.

This 5-day event is designed to help give a refresh before gearing into the final weeks of the school term. While it’s 5 days, it will only be 3 hours a day (10 am-1 pm EST), and the guest speaker sessions are 15-minutes so they will be easy to absorb.

My session will be on the final day. It’s called:

Reset and Refresh: Tiding Tips for Studio Teachers

Enjoy a workspace that is always fresh and orderly by implementing a simple, consistent, and sustainable tidying routine. Four specific time points, a small checklist, and an incremental (but minimal) time commitment will be your steps for a well-kept studio.


Read more details and SIGN UP for the event here!*

Use the code PANTRY to get a $10 discount ($59 instead of $69)

*Disclosure: I will also get a very small affiliate percentage back but it doesn’t cost you any extra.

 


Did you enjoy this post?

Consider subscribing to the Piano Pantry email list. You’ll get my once-a-month “Secret Letter” which includes what’s been going on in my studio that month, new posts on the blog, books I’m reading, favorite Instagram posts, and other fun things like that. 

Sound good?! Subscribe here.

 

Happy Birthday By Ear

The Ultimate Teaching Resource

Can you think of any moments when, as a young piano student, you were
put on the spot or caught off guard being asked to play something for people and feeling the heat rise to your face because you weren’t able to do so “because you didn’t have any “music”?

I myself have had many experiences in this situation – sadly, even into my early adult years. Often, the request was a simple one – “Happy Birthday” – and yet to me, it was crippling and made me feel ashamed.

These people know me as THE pianist in their life. That’s what I’m known for! Why can’t I just sit down and play this simple tune without music?

Without a doubt, life experiences make up who we are today.

As a teacher, I’m now determined to help my students feel
ENABLED and CONFIDENT that, as pianists, they can sit down and play something anywhere and at any time – starting with the tune “Happy Birthday.”

Today I am excited to release the ultimate teaching resource for playing “Happy Birthday” by ear and am confident this is the only download you will ever need!

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Friday Finds #208

Best of February

As I continue to consider what this slightly new Friday Finds format looks like (with more themed content each week), I realized I also didn’t want to lose the charm of the fun list of random finds that this post series has always thrived on.

Thus, I’m going to shoot for the last Friday of each month being a compilation of the best finds from the past month – just like I used to do.

Enjoy!

 

1

Congratulations to my good friend Joy Morin on celebrating 12 years of blogging!

I can’t imagine what the piano teacher world would be like without you – you’ve inspired so much of our world!

(P.S. She’s doing a great discount and giveaway this month so be sure and jump over there right away!)

 

2

If you’re a Google Chrome user, did you know you can organize your tabs into groups? Who knew?!

 

3

In February, Music Teacher’s National Association (MTNA) released a big new Business Resources section on their website

 

4

What to Do When Parent’s Don’t Want to Be Online for Music Lessons
( The Unfinished Lesson)

There may be more to it than we think! Here are four great tips from Rosemarie Penner.

 

5

6 Brilliant Websites for Original Piano Sheet Music (Pianosaurus Rex)

 

6

Notated versions of the RCM Level 9 and 10 Chord Progressions – for free. (The Collaborative Piano Blog)

 

7

“The shelves at Trader Joe’s do what?!” That’s what I said when I read this post: The Mind-Blowing Trader Joe’s Trick We Just Learned on TikTok (The Kitchn)

 

8

Speaking of Trader Joe’s, here’s my Trader Joe’s shopping list. (Piano Pantry)

 

9

21 Podcasts for Piano Teachers in 2021 (Joy Morin | Color in My Piano)

 

10

Using Social Media Effectively to Market Your Studio (Teach Music Online Podcast)

Some great tips with guest Sara Campbell. The top tip I told away was from their conversation on the difference between Marketing and Advertising!

 

11

I can’t wait for season 2 of Nadiya Bakes on Netflix! Her personality is so fun and inviting. They haven’t announced a release date, but until then, enjoy season 1. Her happy face will be sure to brighten your day.

 

12

The rest of February’s Friday Finds:

#207 Winter

#206 For all the Office Product Junkies

#205 A Superbowl-Inspired Friday

 

 

My Trader Joe’s Shopping list

Recently, a friend posted on Facebook that she was going to Trader Joe’s for the first time in a long time, and did anyone have items they LOVED she should add to the list?

After commenting using a quick cut and paste of my Trader Joe’s shopping list I keep in Evernote, it hit me:

This may be a fun little post to share with my readers! I love food and cooking but don’t incorporate enough of it on this blog as I would like besides linking to recipes and products I love in the weekly Friday Finds.

So, here we are!

 

What’s So Special About Trader Joe’s?

This niche grocery store is especially known for its low prices on unique food items, quirky culture, cozy size, and special experience. There’s something about shopping there that just feels good.

For me, the unique food items are the biggest reason I shop there and that feature is best displayed in their freezer section. Never have I been one for buying pre-made meals of any kind in a regular grocery store because they’re never that good (or that healthy for that matter).

Trader Joe’s does it differently though.

When I go there, I like to take my time and slowly peruse the freezer section, taking in each item. Being that all of their product branding is completely different than the main-stream brands you are used to seeing in a regular grocery, it can feel a little strange (and perhaps overwhelming) at first looking at a whole new line of products.

 

My Trader Joe’s Shopping List

The list I’m sharing with you today is items that I love. They may not make it into my cart every time I go, but I consider them winning products – many of which I do like to keep in-stock at home.

Besides my repeat list, I also try to buy half-a-dozen new items each time as well. “The Kitchn” website frequently posts fun articles on Trader Joe’s (I link to several of their articles at the end of the post). My shopping list is always inspired by what I read there as well as information gleaned from the fun Trader Joe’s Podcast.

Keep in mind I’ve only been lucky to have a Trader Joe’s nearby (well, 35 minutes away) for the past year. Prior to that, I only got to go a couple of times a year when I was in Indianapolis (90 minutes away) – usually for a state MTA board meeting! Ha!

My list would likely be longer if I had been able to be a more regular customer but this is what I have thus far.

Continue reading

Friday Finds #207

It’s all Winter!

Many of us in the US have been hit these past couple of weeks with some serious weather. I can’t remember the last time we here in Indiana have seen this many days in a row of 20-degree weather and consistent snow with no melting and slush.

I have to say that I’m loving it! Working from home, of course, certainly makes it easier to enjoy and not dread. 🙂 I’ve always been of the opinion that if it’s going to be winter, I would rather experience the season with all it has to offer.

Stay warm and safe – especially all of you that have had to go through all the power outages!

-XOXO

 

1

Winter’s Serenade Intermediate-level sheet music by Dennis Alexander

 

2

The winter-scenes over on Kiel James Patrick’s Instagram account have been incredibly enjoyable to follow!

 

3

A Winter playlist on Spotify. (Amy Chaplin)

Music that will set the scene for the beautiful side of winter including scenic white views, crisp cold, and comforting warm fuzzies.

 

4

Look at this downtime for fresh produce as an opportunity to take advantage of all the beautiful fruits and vegetables that you can get in your freezer section!

 

5

Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite places to buy frozen products. Check out this podcast episode highlighting their freezer section.

 

6

The Perfect Winter Piano Piece (Wendy Stevens)

 

7

Shades of Sound Listening & Coloring Book: Winter (Playful Piano)

Winter-time inspired grand-piano coloring page (Leila Viss).

 

8

A short story: The Fir-Tree by Hans Christian Anderson (Becoming Minimalist)

 

9

Cold church blues: practicing organ in the winter. (Rebekah Maxner)

 

 

Recent and Upcoming Guest Speaker Appearances

Hey, just a couple of quick announcements!

 

Career Development and Entrepreneurship

Last week I was a guest speaker for one of Butler University’s Career Development and Entrepreneurship graduate classes.

Some of the things we talked about included:

  1. The story of opening my new business and how it changed and developed over the years.
  2. Acquiring and retaining students
  3. Marketing and studio policies
  4. Rates, billing, and payment options
  5. Lesson material organization

If you are looking for someone to talk about this topic with your college class or local or state association, you can contact me here.

Feel free to also check out my speaking page that shows a list of sessions I’ve done in recent years.

 

Turboboost

If you haven’t heard yet, Nicola Cantan from Vibrant Music Studio is hosting an online event called “Teacher Turboboost” from March 29th – April 2.

I’m happy to be a guest speaker along with several other awesome ladies.

It’s a 5-day event designed to help give a refresh before gearing into the final weeks of the school term. Each day will have a very focused and yet broad topic such as: connect, open, explore, grown, balance.

What you will find unique about this event is that it will only be 3 hours a day (10 am-1 pm EST) and the guest speaker sessions are 15-minutes so they will be easy to absorb.

My session will be on the final day. It’s called:

Reset and Refresh: Tiding Tips for Studio Teachers

Enjoy a workspace that is always fresh and orderly by implementing a simple, consistent, and sustainable tidying routine. Four specific time points, a small checklist, and an incremental (but minimal) time commitment will be your steps for a well-kept studio.

 


Read more details and SIGN UP for the event here!*

Use the code PANTRY to get a $10 discount ($59 instead of $69)

*Disclosure: I will also get a very small affiliate percentage back but it doesn’t cost you any extra.


 

 

Friday Finds #206

For all the office-product junkies

 

1

My Top 6 “But It Again” Products on Amazon (Piano Pantry)

Amazon is a great place to buy consumable office supplies!

 

2

My New Favorite Tool in the Studio: Dry Erase Crayons! (Jennifer Foxx)

 

3

My 6 Favorite Office Suppy Items as  Piano Teacher (Joy Morin)

Can office supplies really bring you joy? They sure can! Here are some joyful products that bring joy to our teacher friend, Joy! Ha! LOL.

 

4

Chicken Fajita Stuffed Poblano Peppers (Simply Recipes)

 

5

Favorite Tools of the Trade (Melody Payne)

Scroll CLEAR down to the “Office Supplies” section

 

6

A Piano Teacher’s Shopping List: Organize and Inspire with these 13 Items (Teach Piano Today)

13 things Andrea Dow uses over and over, year after year.

 

7

Piano Teacher “Must-Have’s”: A Minimalist’s List (Piano Pantry)

If I were a brand new teacher or if I had to start all over again in a very small space, what are the items that would be “must-haves”?

 

 



Did you miss a previous week of Friday Finds? Here are quick links:

#205 Superbowl Inspired Friday
#204 Valentine Goodies
#203 Goodies from Down Under
#202 Planning for a New Semester
#201 Getting Taxes Organized

 


Enjoy this post?

Consider subscribing to the Piano Pantry email list. You’ll get my once-a-month “Secret Letter” which includes what’s been going on in my studio that month, new posts on the blog, books I’m reading, favorite Instagram posts, and other fun things like that. 

Sound good?! Subscribe here.